Cantillon Don Quijote | Brasserie Cantillon

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Cantillon Don QuijoteCantillon Don Quijote

Brewed by:
Brasserie Cantillon

Style: Lambic - Fruit

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
A fruit lambic brewed with Italian grapes similar to Concord grapes or Fox grapes (Vitis Labrusca) brewed exclusively for a Florence, Italy, Pub in 2008.

Added by kappldav123 on 06-12-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 47 | Ratings: 81
Photo of JAXSON
4.5/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375ml bottle, 2008. Pours a clear rosy pink with a small white head. Nose is very, very dry, grape skins, deep, strange funk, floral almost. Really a lot of musty, barnyard funk. Sour of course, lemon acids, really dry wine barrel, long, sour finish where the funk just blooms. Not acetic, which was a concern given some aged Cantillon fruit lambics I've had. This is one of the most dry, deeply funky beers I've ever tasted, and it's really interesting. Tannic, oaky, bright, deep. Tight, refined, and focused. Amazing how dry and expressive the funk is here. Freakin' good.

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Photo of alcstradamus
4.7/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to myself for destroying my credit score for this one. Shared with a group of like-minded gentlemen.

Poured into a 5 oz. taster glass. Not a proper vessel for reviewing appearance, so my rating for this category is adjusted to create an accurate overall score.

Pours with a crimson hue. The aroma is Welch's Grape Poop. OK, actually I didn't get a lot of manure, I just wanted to say Welch's Grape Poop. The Welch's Grape is definitely accurate, however.

The flavor is insanely delicate and balanced. Tart grapes and a quickly disappearing sourness up front. Rich fruitiness that meshes perfectly with earthiness and funk. Brilliant, really.

The body is slightly high on the carbonation. Overall this is a sublime fruit lambic, but I think it also still has room to mature and gain complexity. Opening my only other bottle is going to take a lot of guts.

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Photo of Ineedabeerhere
4.62/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Goddamn this was delicious. From notes at mikey's tasting.

Pours a great pinkish raspberry color with some light foam, effervescent with a touch of lace.

Aroma was just downright footy with some awesome grape flavor. Crushed flesh with some earthy skin flavor and bales of straw. Some juiciness but its not sweet or artificial in any sense, just awesome, deep flavor that is well integrated. Really awesome. Well executed acidity in the taste, carbonation in check allowing flavors to mingle and not too sharp of a sourness, dry mustiness through the finish with grape flavor in balance.

An awesome beer. A shame that this wale is so rare and expensive.

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Photo of mothman
4.37/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into Lost Abbey Stemware.

Pours a white head with a pink hue to it. Color is a grapefruit ruby red.

Aroma: Sour grapes and manure. Definitely has a cow barn flavor to it. Very funky and farm yard funk to it. Oak and lemon citrus. Has some hay and grass.

Taste: Just like cow barn. Manure is big. So weird. Sour grapes is big though. Some oak and acidity here with lemon citrus. It is definitely funky. I am very intrigued by this one. The grapes dominate the taste.

Mouthfeel: Sour, tart, and funky. Lighter bodied with a lower amount of carbonation. This one is mouth puckering. Ends dry.

Overall, it was actually fairly good for having a manure flavor to it. So funky. It was good, definitely interesting. I am glad to have tried this one.

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Photo of mikey711
4.77/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I couldn't have been any more excited to try this one!

A: It pours a cloudy ruby red with a light level on fluffy white head that leaves behind nice lacing.

S: Oak and grapes prevail, but the longer this one breathed, the more funk and hay notes came out of it. there is quite bit of a welshes grape juice fruitiness that bblends very nicely with the oak.

T: Grape skins, tart lemon, some woodiness, barnyard hay funkiness. The welshes grape juice characteristic was definitely there but it also had a bit of a grape and lemonade mixture that i found quite enjoyable

M: Very smooth with some spritziness. pretty clean with a bit of dryness in the finish

D: I wish i could drink this all day everyday. incredibly easy to drink and super refreshing. Must get more

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.62/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

4oz. sample poured into a Founders snifter. 750ml capped and corked bottle. Reviewed from notes. The beer of the night! Shared at Mikey711's tasting on 10/16/10.

A: Pours a filmy white lace atop the brew that reveals very little carbonation. Not the most impressive but very lambic-like. Beer is a cloudy reddish-tomato. Lacing is thick and sparse with good cling.

S: Grape peel and pulp upfront with a huge, pungent cheese, cobweb, and funky feet aroma. Holy moly, this beer doesn't hide a thing! Sweet with just the smallest hint of booze in the background. Very pungent and spoiled (in a good way) but absolutely, unmistakably delicious.

T: Tart and sweet grape upfront. Spicy, floral, and very very cheesy. Tartness creeps in towards the middle and end with the fruit never really fading but rather, sharing in the display. Absolute perfect balance the whole way through. Dries right before the finish which is fruity and and sours with a quick, sweet aftertaste.

M: Medium bodied and very lightly carbonated. Smooth and silky in the mouth and goes down so easily, caressing the palate all the way through. It doesn't get any better than this. Finish is relatively clean with a quickly dissipating aftertaste.

D: With this and Blabaer, Cantillon can do no wrong! Almost perfect in every sense of the word. Not the most complex beer but very well balanced and I feel like it does what it sets out to do perfectly, which is display a prominent fruit in a lambic setting. Worthy of all the praise!

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.6/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Very excited to be able to try this one. 375mL bottle.

Pours a bit lighter than cranberry juice. Maybe a slight golden tint, but not much--this is pretty much all red. Absolutely gorgeous color. Nice thin white head and some lacing as it goes down. Nose brings forth plenty of sour grapes along with some Brett and a bit of sourness. Also some hay and oak in there. The flavor really accentuates the grapes, and leaves the funk and the sourness in the background. I really like where it ended up. Mouthfeel is nice, as the interplay between the fruit flavors and the funky sourness are really carried by the carbonation. Drinkability is really quite great, as this finds a very nice balance between fruit, funk, and sour.

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Photo of BearsOnAcid
4.16/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Hazy brick red color. Small collection of tiny bubbles along the wall of the glass. The smell combines mild mushrooms, damp earth, slight vinegar, sweaty feet, grape skins, and some faint smell I could only compare to a box of crayons. Ultimately this beer is straight up funky as hell. Like someone dumped a bag of top soil into a locker filled with dirty gym clothes.

The flavor has a lot of super tart berries and dry wine characteristics. Almost like a cross between a Rose and Labrusca wine. Tannins from the grape skin aren't really noticeable. Slight waxy flavor that is linked to the crayon smell I got. A little oily on the palate. This beer is very tart. Dry brett finish. Once again, Cantillon made another super complex grape lambic. And an interesting choice in using labrusca grapes.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.1/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Opened by Thorpe429, thanks -- huge want of mine and a pretty good grape lambic.

Beer is pinkish / purple and hazy with a thin diffuse head of tiny bubbles that don't leave any lacing on the glass. Carbonation is moderate to low. Looks pretty good for a sour.

Aroma is fruity, like grapes with a sulfurish (not in a bad way) undertone and mild lactic sourness. I was expecting some more acetic, it was there but I'm not sure why I thought this would be vinegar.

Beer is light in body and has a mild sweetness to it, its lactic and acetic sour with hints of citric acid as well. Its not too complex, not getting a lot of grass or hay but there is a mild oakiness to it but without the vanilla, more the funk. Its nice and easy to drink. I think I like Lamvinous better but this is a good beer and I would definitely drink it again.

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Photo of NittanyBeerFan
4.67/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

One of my contributions to our Pittsburgh tasting. This was a 750mL bottle that I was lucky enough to procure from a very generous person.

The color is an interesting pink-highlighted red that glows an almost DAY-GLO orange when it is in the presence of a light source. There is very coarse head that dissipates as quickly as it forms. Streamers of bubbles work their way upwards from 5 nucleation points around the bottom of the glass. The body is somewhere in between clear and translucent.

The aroma blows me away with the most insane funky, sweaty hoseblanket that I have ever smelled. It completely dominates the initial impression of the aroma. It gives way to a sweet grape aroma that is still steeped in funky stank. The bouquet is rounded out by a big earthiness.

Drink this one at cellar temp and above. It starts off great, and steadily improves as it warms. Around 60F, it really hits its peak. There is a medium-range sourness that is quickly dominated by the huge bretty and wild funkiness that was so powerful in the nose. Florentine grapes add a notable and welcome fruity sweetness to an otherwise funky and sour beer. Don Quijote finishes up by drying out the palate with an awesome dryness and oodles of earthy tannic notes. As good as this is right now, age will only serve let this mature and improve even more.

In typical Cantillon fashion, the DQ has a spritzy initial feel with a spot-on light-to-medium texture. The finish is bone dry. Complex and deep, and extremely delicious. There is way more to that funk than I am capable of describing with my vocabulary. This is, without a doubt, one of the driest and funkiest lambics I have ever had the pleasure of enjoying. The grape fruitiness serves only to bring this back closer to center on the sour spectrum, while adding some very subtle and well-balanced fruit notes to the otherwise dry and earthy brew. Cantillon does it again. Easily one of my favorite offerings from one of the world's best lambic brewers. Hype aside, this is a worthwhile beer to pursue.

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Photo of treyrab
4.9/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Dan (nittanybeerfan) was kind enough to bring this beer to the Pittsburgh Tasting of The Ages this weekend and I had to review this beer real-time. The beer is sitting by my side about three quarters of the way done as I write this. As I take one last sip I write this review:

A: Pours a vibrant ruby-red pink with some orange and brick red hues. So vibrant it might glow in the dark. Really pink with a melange of various red hues with a pink head that lasts and is rather spritzy. Clear as can be.

S: So much going on. A cornucopia of fruit, especially sweet, ripe red grapes, grapefruit, and lemon rind. The Brett B and sweaty horseblanket balance the fruit and blend magnificently with the dry hay characteristics. The grape characteristics really set this beer apart though. Really one of the best smelling beers I have encountered.

T: Not as sweet as the smell eludes. Rather dry with awesome red Florentine grape qualities, sweaty hay, Brett B, lemon zest, some dry oak, and slight vanilla. So much going on and pretty damn sour.

M/D: Per usual Cantillon, this is rather spritzy, with the perfect body and the usual amazing Cantillon feel.

Overall, a real Gem of a beer. The Florentine grapes really shine and sets this Cantillon apart.

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Photo of alfrantzell
3.67/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle courtesy of Masterski.

Just 240 750ml bottles and 140 375ml bottles of this rarity were made for Goblin's Pub in Pavullo del Negro, Italy. Bottles were available only at the pub. And you could mail order them. But only those two methods.

Funny things, these Italian grapes. They're similar to Concord grapes, which are what Welch's uses for their eponymous grape juice. And I could not get that out of my head.

Though I did try: Don Quijote looks different, being copper colored and carbonated. And it smells.. uh.. kind of different, like leather, pepper, geosmin, and gravel. And Welch's grape juice. Wave upon wave of that musky grape fluid.

The taste is mostly juice, underwritten by Cantillon's signature sweaty fetlock, yellow woodsorrel, and oak barrel. Some residual sweetness coats the mouth.

A nice effort, especially if you're a fan of Welch's. Some age would do it good.

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Photo of jrallen34
4.84/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

HUGE thanks to Sean for this. Shared with Sean, Mike, and Alex on an awesome Sunday afternoon...375ml bottle into a Lost Abbey glass...Pours a light and bubly purple, kind of dark out but nothing special...The aroma is the best sour ever. It has the smoothest but deepest funk ever, almost manure like but in an appealing way. The first funk that actually really brings me back to the smell of visting my grandparents ranch in Texas. What makes this aroms even better is that its balanced nice with sweet smell of grapes a perfect combo to break up the depths of the funk...The taste thankfully picks up for the most part where the aroma left out. Funk is there but now the grapes come through more, a touch to much of the grapes.

This is a top beer by far and must get for all Cantillon lovers, no matter the cost. I'd love to have this again side by side with blabaer just to see which of these is truly not only the best Cantillon but best sour in the world. Yeah, its that good.

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Photo of Sean9689
4.69/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

375ml bottle shared with some of the Chicago crew.

A - Pours a reddish/orange color, fizzy white head. Some lacing along the sides of the glass and a thin film on top as the cap.

S - Grape juice, oak, funk/tart. I'm a huge fan of the Concord grape juice-esk smell. The funk melds wonderfully with the grapes and the oak notes are an added bonus. Solid.

T - Grapes, tart/sour notes, slight oak, fruit characteristics, some must old barn in there as well. I am in lust with this beer.

M - Light, champagne-esk lively carbonation, dry finish.

D - One of my favorite beers I've ever had. This one went beyond the hype and expectations for me and I can't wait until I can try this again.

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Photo of nickd717
4.12/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

RATING #1000!!! MILESTONE TICK HERE I COME!!! The tick train keeps rolling on, plowing over anyone who stands in its way. 750ml bottle shared by MasterSki.

The color is hazy reddish-copper and the white head leaves a thick white ring on the glass. Good lacing.

The aroma is interesting - red grapes, funk, earth, and cobwebs.

The flavor has a lot in common with Welch's grape juice, but in a very good way. Concord grape, goat blanket, and typical Cantillon funk.

Nice palate - medium acidity with medium body and somewhat lively carbonation.

Very good fruit lambic overall. Justifies the hype for the most part.

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Photo of Jw347
4.92/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

375ml bottle pours a cloudy orangish red with a small beige head. Smells of wonderful fruits with a nice hit of funk. Amazingly smooth, much more so than any other Cantillon I have had to date. .Tastes of strawberries and a slight hint of grape but strawberries is the forfront flavor with a slight acidity to follow. Wonderful beer for sure, and will probably only get better with age.

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Photo of craytonic
1.32/5  rDev -70.6%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Uber rarity, unfortunately the bottle I received was corked. From notes.

Appearance: Pour is a red-orange amber, small white head.

Smell: Off musty / rotten flavors that you expect from corked wine; I have sampled in the neighborhood of 30-50 bottles of Cantillon in my life and this is the first one that has been "bad", I knew almost instantly that something was amiss.

Taste: The must / rotten flavors dominate on the first sip. Very much a TCA issue, there was no way to finish it or enjoy the bottle. This is not "good" funk, as I typically enjoy those sorts of flavors, from Cantillon in particular. Sourness was still there. It is one of those things some people don't pick up on, but once you know the taint you will always detect it.

Mouthfeel: Dry, thin, medium carbonation.

Drinkability: As described above, this bottle clearly had some issues. I doubt I get to try it again and do not know where those issues came from, but as-is it was undrinkable. I noticed some people may have picked up on this from reading other reviews, to a lesser extent, while some may not have had an issue at all.

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.3/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Many, many thanks to Alex for sharing this pricey rarity.

Mildly hazy with a thin head that leaves a little lace. Solid for an unblended druivenlambik. The nose is unique. Concord grape juice, curing leather (as opposed to wet leather), plenty of wet earth, grape stems. Solid stuff. Mildly gamey even? My initial whiff made me think that this beer was corked, but the more I smelled it (and the more it breathed), I realized that it was mostly just a very musky beer.

Palate opens moderately sour with a prominent lemon and moderate grape character a little dull, very leathery and moderately musky. Wet earth. Drying on the finish with moderate musky character. Medium light in body with low carbonation. Very musky, this character really grows as it warms up, and I think this is what I mistook initially for a gamey character. Not very tannic. Low vanilla. Still, very concord grape-like in character. Finish is earthy and musky. Excellent. Unique, this is significantly different from Vigneronne, St. Lamvinus and Pinot D'aunis

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Photo of MasterSki
4.67/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2008 (and only) vintage, shared amongst friends. Served in a tulip glass. Disclaimer - I loved Welch's Concord grape juice as a child.

A - A finger-plus of white foam that settles to a thin cap and thick, chunky, big-bubbled collar, leaving behind spotty lace. Lovely, lightly hazed pinkish-red color.

S - Concord grapes, freshly treated leather, morning dew, and pink grapefruit lemonade. As it warms more funk and traditional lambic flavors emerge. Wonderfully delicate and unique - totally unlike Lamvinus or Vigneronne.

T - Taste is more acidic, with strong sour grapes complete with skins and much less of the overt sweetness found in the nose. Also elements of musty attic and earth, and some light tannic oakiness. Finishes with strong acetic pucker.

M - Bone dry, with a refreshing medium-light body and effervescent carbonation spritz. Not sure how this could be better - it's exactly what I want from a lambic.

D - Acidity, pucker, and dryness would get a bit intense over the course of a 750ml bottle, but the flavor and feel are so wonderful that those are minor quibbles. I'm curious to see how fast the grape character will fade and how this will develop over time, but as it stands this is a delightful and incredibly unique Cantillon offering, and seems to be more successful than Blåbær was out of the gate. I hope this is made regularly as well, as it's almost a crime to only have one bottle left.

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Photo of largadeer
4.32/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks for sharing this, Alex.

The body is hazy reddish-amber, almost purple, and nicely carbonated. A half-inch head slowly settles to a collar, leaving scattered lacing.

It smells unlike any other beer I've had. Leathery and dusty with a unique musty grape character that smells both sweet and earthy. The similarity to concord grapes is apparent, it has a trace of that candy-like sweetness.

While the aroma hints at sourness, on the tongue it's sharply sour, surprisingly so, lactic in character. The grapes lend an interesting musty, earthy, semi-sweet flavor that does a good job of balancing the acid. It's very mouthwatering and fruity, and light on the tannins and oak for a Cantillon beer. The finish is clean and bright, and it's very easy to drink despite the strong acidity. Very enjoyable, one of the most unique beers in Cantillon's lineup.

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Photo of HopHead84
3.57/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5


375ml bottle poured into a snifter. The beer is dark red tinged orange with good clarity (sediment left behind) and a small white head. It's a very nice color.

The aroma is quite interesting. The fruit character reminds me of a cross between an unripened strawberry and grape skins with a little bit of flesh. It's musty and earthy, with notes of oak and a strong wet leather profile. I keep returning to the unripened strawberry character in my notes. It is very interesting and certainly unique. I detect a low acetic presence.

The flavor is unripened strawberries with moderately tart musty grape skins and faint raspberry vinegar notes. It's moderately lactic and acetic. Light lemon notes are evident with an accompanying moderate citric acidity and oak. I detect wet leather and earthy notes. The beer has a piquant and oaky tannic strawberry grape finish with a lower high level of lactic sourness that lingers. The finish is quite tart, mouth puckeringly so. The fruit profile is unique and delicious.

The mouthfeel is dry and lightly tannic; carbonation is at an upper low/lower medium level.

This is very good right now, and I think it will improve with age. These Italian grapes are quite delicious. This paired wonderfully with a Danish Bleu Cheese.


I've tried this from six separate bottles and I think it's time to update my score. Approximately 1 of the 6 bottles has been great, but the others have suffered from a not insubstantial enterobacter aroma (think urinal mint and feces). It's a trend and not remotely aberrational. I love the label of the beer and I like the flavor, but I don't think time will correct the aroma. Some people have many bottles of this left so they will not dwell on the flaws or they will choose to ignore them. They might not even be aware of them (unlikely). But for me, Don Quijote will be forever synonymous with a great label, enterobacter, and a confusing amount of popularity. Give me Saint Lamvinus, Classic Gueuze, or countless other lambics or American sours and I'll be much happier.

I'm dropping this from a 4.5 (first bottle) to a 3.63.

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Photo of kappldav123
4.75/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The bottle looks really, really good, old-styled, creative name. Beer in the glass copper-brownish, small head. Moldy-old aroma. Starts intense sourish-fruity, lemon notes, also very light sweet notes in the background. Increasing fruityness, for a moment it reminds me of a good dry wine. Finish wonderful balanced, prickly. Long lasting finish. Very drinkable. I wish I had more of this and could drink a bottle every day!

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Cantillon Don Quijote from Brasserie Cantillon
4.49 out of 5 based on 81 ratings.
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